VILNIUS – Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda on Wednesday called to speed up the implementation of Rail Baltica, Via Baltica and Via Carpatia projects, saying that the reorientation of Europe's transport and energy links towards the North-South axis enhances regional security.
Addressing the leaders of the Three Seas Initiative (3SI) at a summit in Bucharest, the president said that the shift in the geopolitical situation across Europe caused by Russia’s war against Ukraine had further highlighted the importance of the Three Seas Initiative, which is based on the strategic North-South axis.
“We must use this potential and reorient continental transportation links, energy resources and routes of supply. We must build resilient infrastructure for both civil and military needs,” a press release from the presidential office quoted Nauseda as saying.
“I am happy to note that the NATO Vilnius Summit highlighted the issue of military mobility. To strengthen the eastern flank of the Alliance, we will have to accelerate crucial infrastructural projects, such as Rail Baltica, Via Baltica and Via Carpatia,” the president said.
Speaking about the energy sector, Nauseda underscored Ukraine’s importance for the economy and security of the 3SI region.
“Today Ukraine needs our help to satisfy its immediate energy needs. With the second winter of war approaching, I call on everyone to mobilize vital energy assistance. In the not-so-distant future, Ukraine will emerge as an important energy hub, which will contribute significantly to the climate neutrality and energy security of our region,” the Lithuanian president said.
Nauseda highlighted the most important steps that the Three Seas Initiative countries should take to help Ukraine: to support the reconstruction of its infrastructure, to speak out for the earliest possible start of Ukraine’s EU accession negotiations, to help rebuild Ukraine without waiting for the end of the war, and to ensure Ukrainian grain exports.
The Ninth Three Seas Initiative Summit will be hosted by Lithuania in 2024.